Canadian Lawyer

September 2020

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 8 of 51 7 regularly appears before the Ontario Labour Relations Board, says all arbitrators have now moved to remote hearings. "Nothing replaces a live hearing," Hart says, "but I found that a Zoom labour arbitration is doable and OK." Hart, who represents management, says that the "Brady bunch" approach to Zoom meetings means he can now see his opposing counsel while he delivers submissions, whereas his sole focus was on the adjudicator when proceedings were in person. "When I was doing my opening statements about a safety infraction, I could actually see the union folks who are nodding in agree- ment, which normally I wouldn't capture." Jonathan Coady, who practises adminis- trative and public law at Stewart McKelvey in Prince Edward Island, says in-person hear- ings are starting up again in his province, but he sees a long-term benefit to the shift to virtual hearings. "When I was doing my opening statements about a safety infraction, I could actually see the union folks who are nodding in agreement, which normally I wouldn't capture." Clifford Hart, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP "Virtual hearings by conference have been held by the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission. Also, tribunals like IRAC have introduced to changes to their rules of procedure to better facilitate virtual hearings," says Coady. "Just from the perspective of trying to modernize our administrative processes, I think those amendments are positive ones." Jennifer Khurana, vice chairwoman of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and chair- woman of the Council of Canadian Admin- istrative Tribunals, hopes that the pandemic does mean administrative tribunals make lasting changes. "This whole moment has been . . . a catalyst for all of us in the judicial world, in the admin tribunal world to take a close look at how we deliver these services to Canadians. . . . What's going to make this better is by looking outward to those we serve and making this more . . . focused on users and not what's convenient for our systems." SOCIAL SECURITY TRIBUNAL OF CANADA 2,792 v. 1,532 Appeals filed 1,706 v. 1,557 Hearings held 2,473* v. 1,597 Decisions sent * Integram Windsor Seating (Magna International) group makes up 400 of these decisions Comparison of four months before and after the pandemic started:

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